Santiago, humbly raised in the Spanish countryside, loved to read, wanted to travel, see the world and find his “treasure”.
Instead of being a priest like his parents desired, Santiago became a shepherd in order to wander throughout Andalusia.
The “Young Boy” was obsessed with discovering and accomplishing his Personal Legend.
Everybody has a mission in life, a Personal Legend.
A Personal Legend is what you Always wanted to accomplish ever since you were young.
In your childhood, realizing your Personal Legend seems clear and feasible. However, the older we get, your belief that you can accomplish your Personal Legend seems to get dismantled by a mysterious force.
This mysterious force, made of negativity, deters you but also shows you how to accomplish what you truly want in Life.
Most people are afraid of following their dreams because they are:
According to Paulo Coelho, the Universe conspires to help us in accomplishing our Personal Legend.
It puts people on our way, good and bad, to guide us and redirect our course. The people we meet on our journey to accomplishing our Personal Legend are also part of the Journey.
Indeed, we can learn everywhere we go, with whomever we are and from everything.
For example, Santiago who has met a number of people on his quest of accomplishing his Personal Legend.
It first started out with a dream: one night, he had a wonderful dream about the Egyptian Pyramids. Then, he went to an old Gypsy woman to have his dream interpreted.
After that, he went to a village to change his book to a bigger one. While reading his new book at a well, he meets an old man who claims to be an old king of Salem and who encouraged the boy to accomplish his Personal Legend and to believe in Omens.
On his journey towards the Egyptian Pyramids, the Young boy sold his sheep and arrived in Tangier. There, needing to cross the Sahara, he met a Dangerous guide who would run away with his money.
After being robbed, the boy wandered to the door of a Crystal Merchant, whose unachieved dream was to travel to the Mecca and who against all odds gave him food, a place to stay, a job and who treated him fairly.
While crossing the Sahara desert, he bumped into an Englishman, believer in omens, avid reader, who introduced him to the discipline of Alchemy.
Stranded in an Oasis in the desert, he fell in love with Fatima, the woman of the desert who taught him Love and that Nothing should hold him back from accomplishing his Personal Legend.
Finally, while starting to learn the language of the desert, he bumped into the Alchemist who would teach him the language of the world and show him that lead can be turned into gold.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho explores the themes of following your dreams and achieving self-awareness while doing so.
The Alchemist, through the journey of Santiago the shepherd, helps you identify who and why you are.
This whole book is a metaphor for travel and purpose. Furthermore, each character represents a stage in the life of a person. In addition, I am not used to reviewing fiction but this book was long overdue.
The story of the protagonist Santiago is very relatable, applicable to every stage of our lives, and easily interpreted. Sometimes, we have ups and downs but if we stay focused on our dreams, we really achieve our purpose in the end.
I truly recommend this book for people who have spent their lives not achieving their purpose or who refuse to become bitter. It gives hope and comfort. It lets you know that it is never too late to accomplish your Personal Legend.
The secret of life, though, is to fall seven times and to get up eight times.
If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.
“People learn, early in their lives, what is their reason for being,” said the old man, with a certain bitterness. “Maybe that’s why they give up on it so early, too. But that’s the way it is.”
[…]intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life[…]
[…] before a dream is realized, the Soul of the World tests everything that was learned along the way. It does this not because it is evil, but so that we can, in addition to realizing our dreams, master the lessons we’ve learned as we’ve moved toward that dream. That’s the point at which most people give up.
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Paulo Coelho is an internationally known brazilian author.
Paulo Coelho is the author of the Best Selling novel The Alchemist.